Spur or Spurn?

One of the most important things I have to say about Spur is that it is greater than the sum of its part, something which every restaurant strives for. It also means that as I pick it apart, I already know it will sound more negative than I mean it to. Because really, I very much enjoyed my time there. If I had the means I would go back often. If I can ever again get someone to expense 2/3rds of my meal, I’ll be back in a heartbeat.

The ambience definitely gets an A+. The tables are cool, windy and wood. We sat at a high communal table. Leslie Kelly decried communal tables in this mornings paper, but I don’t mind them, even when, like today, two girls are planning their sorority party at the other end. I started with the Broken Spur a cocktail of bourbon, cointreau, lemon and amaretto, while K started with a Sad Flower of bombay sapphire, violet, elderflower and chartreuse. Both were delicious. W later ordered the Boulevard with rye, raspberry, orange and bitters, and they both ordered a second drink of the Macvin Collins. All of them were amazing cocktails. Good strong flavors, well balanced. I would definitely suggest it as a place to pop in for a drink.

When we got into the food we located to downfalls to the Spur scene. We ordered for dishes. The first to arrive was the meltingly bold smoked salmon crostini. Literally, the salmon seemed to disappear on the tongue into the mascarpone. We had high hopes for the next dish. My first hint of trouble came as the food runner dropped the beef carpaccio. “This dish would rather have you eat it quickly” She said. Really? My food has feelings???? I had no idea. She also pronounced arugula AH-roogyu-la. The dish came with fried bernaise sauce, and really the dish was not disappointing because it didn’t taste good–it tasted fine–but because I expect so much flavor from raw beef AND from bernaise, especially when fried, that this seemed extraordinarily bland for such ingredients. Luckily we quickly moved on to the tagliatelli with chanterelles and duck egg. That is a sous vide duck egg. And parmesan foam. And it was all on a dish that appeared to be shaped like a mesa with rounded edges. Meaning that the minute we moved anything on the dish, something spilled off the edges. The foam seemed awfully pretentious and I’m not sure the sous vide egg did anything a well poached or lightly fried one would have. The dish had strong flavors and was overall tasty, though.

Lastly, we finished off with an order of pork belly sliders. Upon first glance, the bread looked overwhelming, but it turned out to be a perfect balanced, between fluffy bun, crispy pork belly, hint of spice in the mustard and sweetness in the sherry gastrique. It was extremely good.

So overall great drinks, hit or miss food ranging from average to brilliant and a good atmosphere–the price would really be my only deterrent. For small (SMALL!) plates, they range from $9 up and all the drinks start there too. Again, I’d return…but on someone else’s dime.

Spur on Superpages.com


One Response

  1. I have mixed feeling about foam. You watch alot of what chefs do with it, such as Adrian Ferria, where he just takes the essence of an ingredient and drives it down to a very simple form, and it seems like a really great thing. But the medium kills me, and like you, I also find it very pretentious. I don’t know. It’s almost too fancy, and lacks sustenance, and it really seems to push the envelope for the majority of the dining public. That and I think its getting played out.

    Come spring quarter, I may be employed at Sitka and Spruce part-time in the kitchen, schedule permitting. I will let you know.

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